Monday, January 30, 2012

Storyboarding a Novel

For Book 3 of the Tales of Gymandrol series, I decided to try "storyboarding." This is a technique most often used by screenwriters, movie people, etc. I had heard of an author using it and...light bulb! Why not try it for writing a novel?

What I've done with THE SEVENTH BLESSING and THE HIDDEN BLESSING is a mix of writing in a journal and typing on my laptop. If I'm away from home without the laptop, I use my journal. I LOVE writing, especially with fine tip pens. (I have one that is .38! Can you believe that?) Yup, the little things make me happy.

So, what did I need for the storyboarding? A poster board (had one!) and lots of Post-it notes (check!). Unfortunately, I did not have all of one color. This greatly distressed the freaky organized person that I am. Why did I have to mix blue and orange Post-its? *sigh* Moving on. I started writing major plot points that knew that I wanted to hit in the story. I wrote what I had already written down in the rough draft and then looked over my outline. (Yes, I'm an outliner. I makes my brain happy.) I kept writing short sentences on the Post-its and throwing them at the poster board. After I had about five, I would stick them to the board. "Does that make sense? Am I alternated points of view enough? Um. No. I need a bit more of Donovan in between these two scenes of Holly." Pick up and move Post-its. "Yes. Okay...nail it down." Put numbers at the top of Post-its that I know won't change. Repeat over and over until board is filled/all major plot points have been hit. 

Large view of my desk with the storyboard of epic proportions

Starting with "1"

I obviously get inspired and write "OH!" and use lots of exclamation points.

Red was for the things I needed to check out.

And more notes...

I really needed to do this. I had a character who is...well, I don't want to give any spoilers. Let's just say that I didn't know how he would end up doing what he does. I have Point A and Point C. I needed the Point B. I was able to get there! I'm sure Chris thought I was losing my mind as I stared at the bookshelves, thinking about possibilities. Actually, he did wave his hand in front of my eyes and ask, "Sweetie? Are you there?" And I had to explain about my brain popping out all these ideas. And finally, "Yes! Got it! Awesome." And I scribbled it down.

So what happens next? I started from the very beginning of my story. (I've written 50 pages so far - 21,000 words.) I combed through it, making sure what I had written jived with my new storyboard ideas. That took a while but it was totally worth it. I ended up adding more characters (who are SO cute!) and changing a few scenes. Not spelling everything out. Not showing who the real villain is. All that good stuff. I really like the way "Holly's story" is shaping up. It will eventually have a real name. That's next.

It'll be THE ______________ BLESSING. ;)

Happy writing! (and storyboarding!)

1 comment:

  1. Dang girl. You are WAY more organized than me. I don't even know how I finish books with the amount of disorganization I have piled up. Kudos to you! I may have to try this.


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